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Highs and Lows

Sree and Rambo return

Beer drinking, inspired captaincy, Buchanan, and a fine diss - all in our look back at last week's highlights

Ben Sammy
Rohit Sharma's feat will be astonishing till next week, when MS Dhoni takes a double hat-trick  •  Associated Press

Rohit Sharma's feat will be astonishing till next week, when MS Dhoni takes a double hat-trick  •  Associated Press

Freak spell of the week
If you thought Yuvraj Singh's hat-trick last week was unlikely, then the odds on a Rohit Sharma hat-trick would've been longer than Kolkata's list of woes. And yet, somehow Mumbai conspired to give Rohit not just three in three but four in five, crashing from 97 for 3 to 126 all out, while chasing 146. Next week, an MS Dhoni double hat-trick.
Return of Rambo
Finally a Pakistani presence at the IPL, and the "clessiest ect" at that, as Ramiz "Rambo" Raja duly took his place alongside the spin doctors and cheerleaders also known as the IPL commentary team. Sporting an Amitabh Bachchan circa-70s hairdo, Rambo was straightaway in touch: Shadab Jakati was mistaken for Manpreet Gony, Karan Goel was not a big hitter (as he only had a strike-rate of about 200 in his first game), and Rohit Sharma "may not have the purple cap but he's in the middle of a purple patch". Even "Yovraaj" is now "Yooovraj". Legend.
Philanthropic act to TV viewers of the week
Lalit Modi, the ruler of India and all the free world, who announced he might consider cutting the strategy break down from seven-and-a-half minutes to five. Not since Star Plus took the K-serials off air have TV viewers been showered with such kindness. Could only be exceeded by the death of Simon Cowell.
Best reason this week to love Sharne Warne for being a legendary larrikin
Because he drinks beer. On the field. During a game. You rascal, you.
Threat of the week
Chris Gayle: "May this tournament go on forever." Arriving in England milliseconds before the toss at Lord's, perhaps Gayle believed it would.
Comeback of the week
Sreesanth (see below)
Diplomat of the week
Matthew Hayden, welcoming back the breakdancer, famous slappee and future hair-straightening-products brand ambassador: "He is a particularly overrated bowler. He loses his cool under pressure." Eight overs, 81 runs and one wicket since Sreesanth's comeback and a severe spanking from Hayden suggests the Australian may also have a point.
MSD moment of the week
As Punjab were hunting down an imposing target, Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jayawardene well-embedded, the Chennai captain brought on Suresh Raina. Forty-four was looking eminently gettable from four overs, but Raina's flattish offspin did the trick. Thus did Dhoni confirm himself as the Bollywood Brearley.
Why the IPL is good for you
Because Lalit Modi says so. Obviously.
Why the IPL is good for you other than because Lalit Modi told you so
Because Ravi Bopara says it helped him score a Test hundred at Lord's.
Why the IPL is influential and destined to rule the world
Graeme Swann opened the bowling. For England. In a Test. At Lord's.
Wish you were here
Kolkata Knight Riders' postcard to Umar Gul after his demolition of Australia in Dubai: what a difference arguably the world's best Twenty20 bowler would have made to KKR's fortunes this season.